Thesis

Algebra support for students in alternative learning environments

The purpose of this study was to identify specific teaching strategies used by alternative education teachers that help at-risk students improve in both their understanding of, and confidence in learning algebra. The focus of this study was two alternative education classrooms of students from grades eight through twelve. This qualitative research was designed as a descriptive study. Results of a survey and focus group interviews were analyzed to identify student perceptions of teaching strategies students considered helpful in enhancing both their understanding and confidence in learning algebra. It was determined that there are four specific teaching strategies that students in alternative learning environments find helpful in understanding algebra, as well as four specific teaching strategies that enhance student confidence in algebra. Teachers in alternative learning environments should consider incorporating the identified teaching strategies into their teaching practice in the algebra classroom to enhance student understanding and confidence. This study indicates that at-risk students who have previously failed algebra classes can benefit from the implementation of specific teaching strategies in the alternative education classroom. This study contributes to research related to teaching strategies that affect student achievement in alternative learning environments. KEYWORDS: alternative, education, teaching, strategies, understanding, confidence, algebra

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